Back to School Bash and supply drive for needy families


ocala news, ocala post

Marion County – A popular school supply drive in Marion County celebrates another year of giving to homeless and needy students.

“Mission: Bus Brigade – Supply Their Success” is a summer drive to gather school supplies for Marion County’s homeless and needy students. The program provides school supplies to 29 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, eight high schools, and eight additional educational institutions in the district.

This mission offers local residents the opportunity to make a difference in a homeless or needy child’s life by donating new school supplies, children’s clothing, shoes, personal hygiene items, and financial contributions.


COVID-19 restrictions prohibit a real school bus from visiting community locations this year to pick up donations; however, donations can be made by check payable to “Homeless/Needy Children Program” and mailed to Mission: Bus Brigade, c/o Homeless, and Needy Children Program, Marion County Public Schools, 1614 E. Fort King St., Ocala, Florida, 34471.

Over the years through different versions, the campaign has collected more than $500,000 in donations and merchandise – all distributed through the school district’s Homeless and Needy Children Program and school counselors.

Staples is a major contributor to this year’s campaign.

“Mission: Bus Brigade” will also participate in the “Back to School Bash” with the Marion County Children’s Alliance on July 31, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Friends Recycling Center (2350 NW 27 Ave., Ocala).

On August 3, known as “Super Tuesday,” additional donations will be accepted at these Ocala locations:

· 9 a.m. – County Commissioner Meeting (McPherson Government Complex)

· 10:30 a.m. – Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors® (3105 NE 14th St.)

· 11:30 a.m. – Staples (1901 E. Silver Springs Blvd.)

· 12:30 p.m. – Staples (Shady Oaks Shopping Center, SW State Road 200, Ocala)

· 1:30 p.m. – VFW Post 4781 (9401 SW 110th St.)

For more information, contact Homeless Liaison Thomas Butler at 352.671.6847 or